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Tom Hoffman
Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows
Tom Hoffman, author

Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

When Orville Mouse rescues an errant windblown hat on his way to work, he soon discovers the hat's shadow is not behaving as it should be. While attempting to discover the cause of this curious phenomenon, Orville and his best friend Sophia Mouse uncover a terrifying secret, soon finding themselves in a desperate race to prevent the imminent destruction of uncountable parallel worlds. With help from their old friend Proto the Rabbiton, mysterious Madam Molly, a wistful robotic curator named Copo, a pair of gigantic vacationing insects, a ghostly engineer, the vaporous Others, and the simmering Forest of Thorns, the two stalwart adventurers must retrace the journey of a centuries old explorer named Haukesworth Mouse to the lost world of Tectar and a terrifying confrontation with Mendacium the Dark Wizard in the dank and dismal dungeons of infamous Castle Caligari.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10


Plot: Adorable is one word to describe both the characters and plot of this novel. There are enough twists and turns to make the story interesting and keep readers engaged.

Prose: The prose is well crafted, descriptive, and entirely suited to this sweet story. The writing will spark the imaginations of young readers.

Originality: The continuing adventures of Orville and friends calls to mind Winnie the Pooh crossed with just a bit of Harry Potter, while still maintaining its integrity with unique characters.

Character Development: The characters here are relatable, fleshed-out, and show some growth and development over the course of the story.

Date Submitted: August 03, 2017


Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt * 5 stars (Author of Guanjo, When Dolls Talk, Orange Cappuccino, Hermit)
"Tom Hoffman has spent three glorious volumes creating and expositing the fictional universe inhabited by Orville and his friends. In Orville Mouse and the Puzzle of the Capricious Shadows - the best of the series so far - we are treated to a most wonderful, humor-filled delight of brave-hearted but vulnerable souls tackling issues much larger than themselves. Incorporating magic that is only science that is truly magic, they represent a level of metaphysical wisdom misleadingly made subtle by a smart and creative author. One forgets that he is an adult reading a young person's book, and you might be inclined to blame it on a stray mote when a tear or two makes an unwarranted appearance. Or maybe Orville or Sophia shaped it there to teach us a necessary lesson. Or maybe, just maybe, Tom Hoffman is showing us all the truth disguised as inordinate, adventurous, heart-warming fun."